Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ain’t a child no more!

‘Like a pearl precious, long after it’s lost’.

It was some time early this year that I began to realize this was going to be the end of my childhood. I tried figuring out ‘Why?’. And suddenly, this seemed to be an all-consuming question.

Being a doctor is itself such a daunting profession. No, not because I don’t like being one….I couldn’t have been anything else even if I had another chance. But when you look around your contemporaries in non-medical jobs and get measured with their yardstick, it can get pretty taxing on your conscience. But the upside of this is you can enjoy a childhood longer than others……he he…

I have been giving exams and going to school for as long as I can remember. It’s always referred to as a ‘very tough thing’…going to medical school. I don’t think so. What’s more tough is coming out of it, and living in the real world. But you see, it’s the same with all jobs. Once you are out of school, and slip into the professional garb…it’s a war out there!

Oh yes, that brings me back to the ‘point’ where I lost my childhood. I realized the point was when I had to take up a job. During that month of contemplation, I was feeling like being dragged out of school and squeezed into a grown-up mould. I could sense the sudden heaviness on my shoulders … “I was going to earn a living”. Eeeeeekkss!!!! Here I was in blissful confines of medical school (which being as long as it is…almost seems like a lifetime!!) and can you think of something scarier?

And when this is uprooting my peace, I chance upon these lines from Longfellow, leaving me all the more stirred.

“There was a time when I was very small,
When my whole frame was but an ell in height,
Sweetly, as I recall it, tears do fall,
And therefore I recall it with delight.”

Well, finally the big day happened… when I reported to the first day at work. Phew!! I was having not just butterflies in my tummy, but baby dragons! I just smiled at everyone (you never know who that might be!!), and surprisingly turned out to be a quick learner. I tried to understand the intricacies of the way things work within a week. That way, I dint have to smile at everyone for everything…saving me those ATPs!

‘Looking’ confident at the work place can do wonders! Everyone then assumes you ‘know’, and so don’t try to mess your mind with their classified tips and expert advice. You learn how much you can interact with whom, how to avoid being involved in office gossips and petty arguments, and most importantly how not to get used beyond your remuneration!

Every evening I came home happy with myself, with an air of having done so much and learnt so much that day. I loved my work!!!!

Then one fine day, when I finally got my first ‘off’’ (that, I learnt was the office lingo for Leave) after 10 working days, I used my precious time to reflect. Deep introspection can at times lead you to the realms of unknown yet obvious wisdom you see … The biggest realization was that I absolutely adored my job and felt more confident.

Yet, there was some unexplained void somewhere. After all, I had been preparing all my life (thus far!) for this… to get a job, work and (Eeeks!) ‘earn a living’.

And then it finally dawned on me….. the cause for my fuzzy feeling in that past week,

“I had grown up!!”